10 Keys to Giving the Greatest Presentation of Your Life

by Marcus Sheridan

At this very moment, somewhere around the world, there is a presenter standing in front of his (or her) audience that is swallowing the sad reality that he has failed to deliver the message he hoped to achieve.

Maybe he was boring.

Maybe his content stunk.

Or maybe he just choked.

For those of you that know me, you might also know I used to be deathly afraid of public speaking. In fact, when I was 16, I was actually committed to never speaking in public.

But as fate would have it, time taught me that communication and speaking were actually a tremendous passion of mine, and since those early years I’ve spent much of my time learning the habits that make some presenters great, while others never seem to be able to ‘find the magic’.

For the past 3 days, I’ve been speaking at the ANLA convention in Louisville Kentucky about social media and content marketing. During that time period, I gave multiple presentations but today I’m going to share one that embodies everything I believe necessary to achieve the speaking results you’re looking for if your goal is to stand out and deliver a truly memorable message and experience to the listener. (Plus, if you’re interested in Social Media, you’ll love it ;-) )

So do me a favor and please watch this video. I promise, it won’t be boring. Although I’m speaking about the fear we have that competition will steal our ‘secret sauce’ if we’re active in social media and content marketing, pay attention to what makes this audience engaged. Notice why they laugh, nod, or shake their head. Observe the percentage of folks that are ‘truly’ listening. After you’re done, I’ve listed 10 specific tips (all of which I tried to apply in this presentation) that will truly help elevate your ability to give awesome presentations in the future, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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10 Tips on How to Give the Greatest Presentation of Your Life

1. Get off the stage, get away from the pulpit

Granted, sometime you don’t have a  choice as to where you speak, but if you have the option, never use a pulpit (which is a wall between you and the audience) and never speak on a stage (puts you above the audience). Great presenters know how to perfectly ‘mix’ with their listeners. This is also why I always require a center aisle whenever I speak to a group of people, thus enabling me to simply ‘be a part of the group.’

2. Don’t Spend Time on Your Bio: No One Cares

When a moderator asks me what I would like to be said in my introduction, my words are always the same: “Just tell them(the audience) my name, they really don’t care about the rest.”

Bios, especially at the beginning of a presentation, often times make us appear as braggards. It’s much better to share incredible value with your audience and then if you’d like to tell them about yourself and why you’re awesome, do so at the end.

3. Set the Tone Right Away with Questions.

Do you want your presentations to be a ‘one-way’ or a ‘two-way’ street? Remember, people don’t want to listen to college professors when they’re hearing a presentation, they want to have discourse. They want interaction. So set the tone right with powerful questions as soon as possible.

4. Make sure name tags are being used, then call the people by name, directly.

If you watched the video you likely noticed I called almost everyone in the room by their name. This is also why I ask everyone to show their name tag (if they have one) whenever I speak, as the personal sound of one’s own name has a powerful effect on the intimacy of any communication.

5. Walk within the group.

Beyond #1 (getting off stage), there is power in walking within the group you’re presenting to. It is for this reason that I always require a center aisle whenever I speak to a group, as it allows me to freely move about the audience, and truly form a stronger bond with each person there.

6. Use slides that everyone will relate to but are outside of your niche.

If you watched the video, you noticed I used different cheeseburgers from popular fast-food companies to make my point. And why did I do this? Because we all love to eat, and we’ve all known these restaurants since we were little children.

7. Your slides don’t deliver the message, YOU do.

Along with #6, remember that audience members are there to hear YOU speak, not to read your slides. Nothing is worse than watching a presentation that would have been just as easily sent out as an email instead.

8. Manipulate the pace with rapid fire questions

Pace is a big deal with presenting. And when it’s fast, and everyone is involved, it makes for a powerful experience. In the video, notice how at times I would repeat the same question back to back to back in a rapid manner.

9. Make ‘em laugh

Who doesn’t enjoy laughing? If you’re stuck in a room as a group of people, you may as well have a good time, right? This is also why presentations shouldn’t be so rigid, as too much structure will deter your ability to capture the magic moments when they present themselves.

10. Passion!

We all know the deal with this one folks. If we can’t get excited as the presenter, how in the heck can we expect others to get truly interested in our words?

Your Turn:

OK, 2 questions for you: What are some further qualities that make for a great presenter/presentation? Also, what are some of your biggest pet peeves when you’re listening to someone speak? As always, I’d love to hear  your thoughts and feedback, as your voice truly matters here on TSL. :-)

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Huffman January 30, 2012 at

I haven’t done much speaking Marcus, but I spent about 10 years performing as an indie musician and much of these same things apply.

Doing everything I could to be in the moment and letting the cards fall where they may (for better or worse) really helped me make my performances as real as possible.

This meant recognizing hecklers, calling attention and making fun of mistakes I’d made, etc.

I’ve only heard you on webinars, but you always get folks really pumped up. These are all really great lessons.

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Marcus Sheridan January 30, 2012 at

Wow, that’s awfully kind of you to say Dave, and I truly appreciate it bud.

What you said about being an indie musician seems to fit perfectly my man. Either way you shake it, it’s about keeping an audience engaged, interested, and on their toes.

Good stuff my man.

Marcus

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Tom January 30, 2012 at

Such a great blog article and video! Love it!

Thanks Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan January 30, 2012 at

Thrilled you liked it Tom. :)

Now keep kickin butt my man! ;-)

Marcus

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International Business And Finance News January 30, 2012 at

Thanks for such a well written and informative post.

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Laura Click January 30, 2012 at

Absolutely love your energy, Marcus! I can’t wait to see you speak at Social Slam!

The beauty of your presentation is that you took something that everyone relates to in order to get your point across. You made something that is complex to some folks (social media) and made it accessible because you talked in terms the audience could understand. Well done!

As for pet peeves for speakers, I have a number of them – cramming too much info on a PowerPoint slide (i.e. lots of bullet points), reading from the screen, and perhaps the worst is handing out your presentation so everyone can read along. Why get up in front of an audience to speak if you’re going to give them something to read as you talk?! Why on earth would they pay attention to you?!

I think that much like blogging, the best speakers are ones that talk to the audience like normal human beings. Forget flowery language. Quit talking AT your audience. The best speakers know how to educate by having a conversation.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

If I could say ‘AMEN’ one hundred times to that I would Laura. But because I can’t, I’ll just say this:

AMEN!!!!

So great seeing you and can’t wait to meet at Social Slam soon!

Marcus

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Harriet January 30, 2012 at

Great tips Marcus. As part of my university course I have to give presentations, the most recent being on Friday. And I couldn’t agree with you more about stepping away from the pulpit/lectern and presenting more openly. I feel that the people who stand behind a lectern and present from there don’t get their point across as much.

I can’t watch your video at the moment as I’m in the library but I’ll be sure to watch it later and tell you what I think of it! I’m sure it’ll be great :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Well then good luck with the presentation Harriet!!! :)

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Harriet February 2, 2012 at

Thanks Marcus! I think it went well, I’m just waiting for the results now!

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

GREAT!!

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Jon Loomer January 30, 2012 at

Thanks, Marcus! I’ve always been petrified of public speaking. Can’t explain it. One day, I’ll have to face it — and beat it.

My biggest pet peeve is someone who reads a presentation. Boring!

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Rebecca Livermore January 30, 2012 at

Jon,

I’ve been where you are when it comes to being afraid of public speaking — and I think a lot of people can relate to that, so you don’t need to explain it.

The great news is, it is definitely possible to overcome that fear. The most amazing thing is that some of us who were once so so afraid of this now absolutely love it. I think if I could overcome that fear and get to where I love it like I do, I know that anyone, including you, can.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Mega dittos on that Rebecca! :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Agreed Jon. Reading more than a couple of words off a screen should be illegal and reason for imprisonment.;-)

Good to see you bud,

Marcus

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Rebecca Livermore January 30, 2012 at

Marcus,

Great list. The only thing I would add to it is the importance of knowing your audience. I think the more you understand what it is that keeps those people up at night, or what really gets them excited, the easier it is to share stories and illustrations that really resonate with them.

And I agree about not reading your slides. SO boring. I actually have used PowerPoint quite a bit, but put very few words on the slides. At most, something that is more like an outline, but definitely not complete sentences or even worse paragraphs. I mentally shut down the moment a slide goes up that is full of text.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Yep, HUGE one Rebecca. For example, the conference here was for landscapers. In many of my classes, I took the time to show exactly how Google Search worked.

Had I been with a bunch of social media heads, I never would have been so basic.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Marcus

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Hajra January 30, 2012 at

Hello Marcus,

Congrats first… I just saw the SME update :)

There so many things I love about that presentation. In addition to what all you’ve mentioned above (to each one I absolutely agree) here are some things I specifically enjoy. Your pitch changes as you ask questions? Shows that you are definitely interested in what they have to say. The voice reflects appreciation when they answer; the audience loves it! And you state things as a matter of a fact; something they would relate to. It’s like they have now have in their heads that they are speaking to “guy-next-door” and they love listening to them; rather than an uptight “expert” who just seems to know it all and make the audience feel like a loser! Getting to the audience makes them feel special, makes them want to participate and questions always gives them the feel that their opinions do matter!

Getting the audience to ease is quite a task; but you do a great job of it! Loved the video, loved the lessons!

Keep being awesome! :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Wow Hajra! Double Wow as a matter of fact! ;-)

Your feedback and thoughts here are really spot-on. Voice flextion is a big deal. Speaking at the level of your audience versus trying to ‘sound smart’ is an even bigger deal. Notwithstanding, it’s amazing just how many folks get on stage and seek the biggest words, most unique vernacular, etc—all for the ego stroke…Crazy if you ask me.

I don’t want to ever be called a genius, I just want people to say, “If Marcus can do it, then I sure can too!”

GREAT stuff Hajra, thank you!

Marcus

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Ryan Hanley January 30, 2012 at

Marcus,

You said something to me during our skype call a few weeks ago that has stuck with me ever since…

I’m to paraphrase but:
“…Tell them exactly what you do and how you do it because so few will actually take the time to do it and do it right…”

I love this aspect of your deal man… The Secret Sauce. Why does everyone think they are so different from everyone else?

You’re only different if you are different…

Solid gold.

Remember the first question you asked me during that call? It’s starting to look more and more like the answer to that question is going to be NO. Not the Yes I gave you… We should talk more about that some time.

Thanks dude.

Ryan H.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Appreciate the kind words brother. You know, we do need to chat man. You’re writing, growing, and evolving, which is a beautiful thing. If you weren’t changing your thoughts and perceptions, I’d be worried about you man. ;-)

Cheers bud,

Marcus

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Matthew Stock January 30, 2012 at

So many good point here Marcus. I only wish my high school teachers could have seen this stuff – I probably wouldn’t have dosed off so much. I don’t think anyone can possibly steal your “dang” secret sauce.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Hahahaha, yeah, so true my man…Heck, college was even worse. Some of those teachers could make a Red Bull fall asleep. ;)

Thanks for stopping by bud,

Marcus

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Jk Allen January 30, 2012 at

Marcus!

I’m back in the game man. 7 weeks of “getting my mind and business right”. The year has started on fire and I’m trying to keep it burning high.

I really enjoyed the presentation. I appreciate that each one your talks encompass what you preach. You stick to your own script because it’s real and it works.

What is “dubia” by the way. hahahaha. Did you mean “Double U…W”
Sorry man, I had to crack on that one.

Great work. I love your style and I really do take notes. This is the type of stuff I love reading because I get a lot of value from it.

Thanks for sharing.

PEACE

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Rebecca Livermore January 30, 2012 at

Jk, “dubia” made me laugh, too. How can anyone not think of George, when we hear “dubia”? In case it matters, it is: The “W.”

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Hey my man, great to hear from you and I hope your respite was one of rejuvenation and growth….but it certainly seems from your recent post that it was just that.

Appreciate the kind words bro….even the knock on my linguistics ;-)

Marcus

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Shirley January 31, 2012 at

Excellent article Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

Thanks so much Shirley! :)

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Shawn January 31, 2012 at

Great stuff Marcus. Love the passion. It is said that “Enthusiasm is often mistaken for Authority and Control; In other words you have to pump it up in order to pump it out” . Your passion here is contagious. I would add that you have to be a good story teller. Everyone loves a great story especially when someone had a challenge/test/problem and they endured pain/struggle (I call it the “Gorry”) and then they hear how they faced that challenge/test/problem and overcame it and saw these results (Thats The Glory!). This is how you become memorable. Great Stuff!

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

LOVE the ‘storyteller’ suggestion Shawn. We could spend all day discussing that skill alone, but boy is it huge in terms of our ability to have a lasting impact on folks.

From Gorry to Glory…..I like that Shawn!

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

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Diana January 31, 2012 at

That’s such a cool video. It’s so much fun to see you in action! I bet your energy is contagious. Those are really great points, and I’m learning from you. I’m writing like crazy right now – an ebook to roll out in advance of my published book (I’ll tell you more about that personally) and I’d like to highlight the ebook roll out with some video. So much of what you’re doing here is right, Marcus. We’re left now to convert your lessons into tools for our own businesses and futures.

I like humor. Humor is good. When you get people smiling and laughing, they are already intrinsically doing something else — they are listening. You “have them” if they’re laughing.

What fun. Oh, BTW you’ve invested some into that cool Sales Lion intro. Looks really good.

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karen27 January 31, 2012 at

Some interesting, non-conventional points here – well done. I would add one more: get to know your audience before your presentation. Not only will this help you tailor your presentation to them, but it will help you truly engage them. Nobody likes to sit through a canned, one-size-fits-all speech. Above all, relax and have fun – it’s contagious!

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Andrea Hypno January 31, 2012 at

I was just like you Markus, scared of speaking in public as much as possible. Then one day I decided to take a Dale Carnegie’s public speaking course and bam! It came out that not only I’m pretty good at it but that really it’s fun. It’s just like blogging: it’s great to have people listening to what you’re saying and if you even make money from it, well, that’s wonderful. I should definitely begin public speaking again as I’m a bit rusty now. And really public speaking makes wonders for self confidence and such. Surely something everyone should learn.

One of the thing I learned is that public speaking is like driving an airplane, the most difficult and dangerous parts are the beginning and the end, once they go well all the rest is easy.

Really this post and the video lighted again in me the fire of speaking. :)

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

I LOVE Dale Carnegie Andrea!! LOVE HIM! And it’s so cool you did his course.

Have I ever told you that every time you come on here you impress me more with all that you’ve done Andrea? Seriously, keep kickin butt girl!! :-)

Marcus

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Andrea Hypno February 2, 2012 at

Thanks Marcus, much appreciated. You know, I try to do my best, also because being in the field of Self Improvement I really have no other choice. :D

I think Dale Carnegie’s books are the best around as regards improving ourselves, not only for the message itself but for how they are written. Kinda like talking with an uncle or a grandfather and the wide use of real life examples really make principles to stick. The courses are a bit too expensive honestly and this prevents a lot of people to take them. At least here in Italy they are pretty much business oriented so prices increase accordingly but they are surely top quality.

Just the books anyway make wonders, that man was a genius. Probably one of the reasons why he was so successful, worldwide. Another cool one is Napoleon Hill obviously, and a couple of others. All the rest have, more or less, just rewritten their words.

Similar to what happened to Mr. Wattles and James Allen with the Law of Attraction. Ok, I’m going out of topic.

Have a great day!

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Wow Andrea, I can clearly see you know your personal development icons! You rock girl! ;)

Marcus

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Soren Sjogren January 31, 2012 at

Hi Marcus,

Great post with lots of good advise. Personally I think your #9 is the most important. I always aim to make my audience laugh no matter how serious the topic. I also try to end the presentation on a high note as well. People have a tendency to remember the last part of a presentation far better than the first.

Soren

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Hey Soren! Yep, #9 is a biggie. If there is one thing we can all agree on in this world it’s the power of laughter.

Keep smiling my man, and thanks for dropping by!

Marcus

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Pat January 31, 2012 at

Hey Marcus, thank you for this post – seriously. I plan on doing a lot more speaking this year and will take your advice to heart. I hope I’ll get to see you at an event or to and show you what I’ve learned. Thanks for your experience, and all the best to you!

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Pat, you’re going to be one of the best speakers in this business, I can already tell my friend. I study speakers for a living and I mean that when I say it.

Can’t wait to catch up in person this year bud!

Marcus

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Sheyi January 31, 2012 at

Lovely post Marcus – I’ve also learn more here. I believe if you interact with the audience there is going to be some relieve.

BTW: Your avatar scares me. Lol

Sheyi

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Haahahaha, it scares you Sheyi?? How can Mufasa scare anyone?? ;-)

Thanks for dropping in!

Marcus

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mike@web design SEO January 31, 2012 at

Great advice… I was once told to try to avoid standing behind a podium, which is right as I/we have a tendency to get locked… If I have passion about what I’m talking about or where I’m at I just roll with it.. Hard to fake passion and if you have that going your audience will feel it.. Have a presentation I want to nail next week so nice to go over these in my head..

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

That’s exactly it Mike. Podiums can be a killer in terms of our ability to get relaxed and let out natural communication talents come out.

Keep rockin brother!

Marcus

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Dee Kumar February 1, 2012 at

Interesting style you have, but as someone who has a past in public speaking, perhaps it is important to say that whilst that style really does suit you well, perhaps it will nto work for everyone, as many may not have the same level of rapport/quick thinking or even confidence as you have.

I initially started behind a podium as it felt protected and then as I got better I was comfortable making the room my own.

However I think fundamentally why it all works is because you know your topic well and have the ability to stay focused on the direction of your topic. You don’t sway into off topics, you may start from left field but it all comes together on the key message – and that is a key reason why your audience remains engaged with you.

Not a big fan of insulting people for laughs – but I guess you had a lot of rapport with ‘the ugly guy’ before that – however I totally would not recommend that for anyone else starting out!

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Michele Welch February 1, 2012 at

You sure got me pumped up! Great vid Marcus… gave me some ideas for my event coming up. ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

SWEET Michele!! Thrilled to hear it….now go out there and knock ‘em dead!

Thanks for all your support,

Marcus

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Kimberly Tolbert February 1, 2012 at

Hey Marcus,

Got this right on time, I have a presentation this weekend! I am a college instructor at a community college (in education) so I am in front of an audience all the time. You are right about not telling the audience what makes you so awesome. At the beginning of each semester, I always ask the students to tell me the number of years they have worked in the field. I add the numbers up on my calculator as each person gives me their number. The total is usually up in the 100′s. Then I tell them that they are the experts because they outnumber me in years of experience! I tell them they are the experts so I will be asking them questions because they know way more than I do! The students also let their guard down and don’t just expect me to have the answer to every question in the world and it gives them validation and ownership of the learning process.

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Awesome Kimberly!! Love what you do with your class and I’d love to hear how it goes for you with that presentation. Shoot me an update Monday!!! ;-)

Marcus

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Weston February 1, 2012 at

I like hearing a very short, very relevant bio of the speaker before they come on. If it is a long conference with multiple speakers the bio goes a long way towards telling me how much weight to give to the speaker’s content. A good short bio should tell me why I should be relying on what that person says. Don’t tell me how many kids he has, or that he loves his wife. Tell me what he did in the real world that relates to my business.

Regarding number 9. Some people just aren’t funny, and they should admit that to themselves if they are about to speak. Pretty much every bad business presentation or speech that I have heard stunk because the speaker was trying to be humorous and failed, or was trying too hard to be entertaining.

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

I understand what you’re saying Weston, I just prefer to integrate the short and relevant into my presentation at the beginning, instead of the longer brag-fast we so often see.

Regarding humor, I agree that not everyone is a natural jokester, but I don’t think that means they shouldn’t smile often, laugh when appropriate, and have a great time in the process.

Thanks so much for your thoughts Weston!

Marcus

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Traci Wheeler February 1, 2012 at

Great topic and video, Marcus! I could not agree with you more. We attend a lot of tax conferences. Tax is some pretty dry stuff. I can’t tell you how many sessions I have been in where people read from slides, stay in one place and then only talk about themselves. There is zero engagement with the audience. Those sessions feel like they last FOREVER!!

My colleague and I have been trying to shake it up at tax conferences for the last year or two, with some success, using a number of the techniques you describe in your post above. It is a lot of fun!

Keep up the good work!

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Hey Traci!! Such a pleasure to see you and a love your points. Yes, those types of sessions to seem to go on FOREVER! ;-)

Question– Are you going to Content Marketing World this year? I’ll be keynoting and would LOVE to catch up and have a chat this time :-)

Marcus

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Traci Wheeler February 2, 2012 at

Hey Marcus! I am planning to attend Content Marketing World this year. That is awesome that you are keynoting. I am looking forward to hearing your talk. You will really set the tone for a great conference. Let’s definitely plan to catch up and chat. Have a great week!

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Yay Traci!!

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Brenna February 1, 2012 at

That’s me in the background of that picture! What a surprise! I enjoyed your presentation, although you cannot tell by the look on my face ;)

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Leon Noone February 1, 2012 at

G’Day Marcus,
Great stuff. Agree with all of it, especially for workshops. Speaking to very large groups gives you much less freedom to be “mobile.” Having said that, I once attended a presentation at an ASTD conference in Boston. The presenter was Bob Pyke. He managed to divide us into workgroups of six, We were all strangers! About 1000 people were in the room ! Sensational.

Here are a couple of small things that may help. Before I start, I always tell delegates that they can leave at any time. In fact I encourage them to do so, especially if they feel that the topic or my treatment of it isn’t meeting their needs.

Regardless of the introduction I get, I always state what my presentation’s about before I start. If I’m going to ask delegates to participate, I mention that too. And if I know that what I’m about to say may challenge them, I warn them in advance.

I encourage people to ask questions as they occur to them, not wait until a “question time” at the end. I do this by asking, “any questions?’ frequently. I’ll guarantee that if a delegate has a question in his or her head but can’t ask it, it’ll be uppermost in their mind until they can ask it, regardless of what you’re talking about.

Another device I’ve found useful is to ask people before I start, about their concerns or issues that are relevant to them and that they want me to cover . I write these up in large letters where everyone can see them. I refer back to them as the session proceeds and mark them off as they’re covered. Just before I finish, I check the list to see if there are outstanding items. I always try to cover everything on the list.

Incidentally, the list must be large and clearly visible. I still use a flip chart. It’s easier to scribble on paper in large letters than to type characters on to a screen. You can always project the chart onto a screen.

Have you thought of breaking the large group into smaller groups to encourage participation and involvement? It can be risky. But there are techniques that help. And it makes your presentation different from almost every other presenter.

Two other things. Prepare; prepare; prepare; never try to “wing it.” Start on time. Never insult the punctual by making them wait for latecomers.

Of course, make sure that you and the participants have fun.

Regards
Leon

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Marcus Sheridan February 2, 2012 at

Ahhh yes, the wise one has now spoken. :-)

Leon, in all serious, I need to add to my bucket list to hear you speak before it’s all said and done.

I can tell you’re awesome, just by knowing your passion, sense of humor, and the words you’ve spoken here.

Thanks for all the teaching you bring to TSL every time my friend.

Marcus

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David Gadarian February 6, 2012 at

great stuff Marcus. I’d recommend taking a look at this book – Slideology by Nancy Duarte – Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/slide-ology-Science-Creating-Presentations/dp/0596522347/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328587915&sr=1-1 – this book really helped me get my head in the game and focus a ton on how to make an effective presentation. Love your thoughts on audience engagement – thanks for sharing all that.

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Marcus Sheridan February 7, 2012 at

Thanks for the recommend David! I know Nancy has done some amazing stuff with her thoughts on presentations. Appreciate that!

Marcus

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Jens P. Berget February 23, 2012 at

Wow Marcus, you are definitively one of the best speakers I have ever witnessed (although I have just seen you online several times). What I really like about what you do, including the passion, is that you make it personal and relevant without only talking about the clients niche. I would probably have picked pizza over burgers, but you get the point a lot better with burgers :)

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Leon Noone March 10, 2012 at

G’Day Marcus,
You already have some thoughts of mine on presentation. I like what you say so I’ll confine myself to only one thing: your bio.

The people who attend your sessions are, I repeat are, very interested in your bio. They don’t want a long boring sort of verbal CV. But they want something. If they weren’t interested in who you are and what you do, they wouldn’t be there.

You bio is also a great opportunity to set the tone for your session. And if you’re in a strange town or with a group you’re not familiar with, it can help reduce unspoken barriers.

Firstly, write your own bio. Make it brief, witty and slightly self depreciatory. Absolutely insist that your introducer use it. for instance…….

Our presenter today is Leon Noone . He’s from Australia. So if you can’t understand him, leap to your feet and tell him. He wont mind. Aussies are notoriously insensitive. Leon thinks he knows just about everything there is to know about staff performance. That’s for you to decide. But he did admit to me that he backed the Patriots to win the Superbowl by 20 points!
I had intended to tell you how brilliant he was and how fortunate we were to have him here. But he insisted that I read this nonsense instead,,,,.. Ladies and gentlemen , may I present the curmudgeon from Down Under, Leon Noone.

Now Marcus, a bloke who digs holes and fills ‘em with water and whose kids write responses on his blog oughta be able to come up with something brief,witty and self- depreciatory that beats the pants of the typical boring introduction.

But remember mate, those in your audience are interested. Don’t dismiss their interest in a flash of false modesty.

And, of course, make sure they have fun,

Best Wishes
Leon

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